seldnei: (converse who white)
I spent the morning with the kid. We went to the dollar movie showing of Despicable Me 2.[1] They had four theaters open for this movie, and they were all full--apparently the dollar movies are very popular with the local day camps.

So there we were, watching the Minions, who speak their own little Minion-language and occasionally repeat words/sounds … and whenever they did, the kids in the audience started chanting along.

"Oooo-weee, oooo-weee, oooo-weee ..." All. Around. Me.

Then the “Happy” scene started, and all the kids sang along with the chorus.

I can’t decide if it was like a cult meeting or an elementary school version of Rocky Horror.

1I have not, as yet, seen Despicable Me. Also, my overall review was Okay, not as good as How To Train Your Dragon 2.[back]
seldnei: (converse who white)
So 2011 was the Year of Change, and 2012 was the year of What the Fuck?

So let's do a highlights reel:

Hurrah!

1. I sold "The Drowned Man" to Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

2. I got a new job, which I like, working with a group of people that I like and who actually seem to get my geeky, sarcastic sense of humor. It's a steady paycheck, which is a good thing, too.

3. The Zweeble started kindergarten and has been doing really well. He doesn't seem bored, he likes his teacher, and we really like the school.

(side note: #s 2 and 3 were things I was really worried about before they happened, so there's an extra layer of good there.)

4. I got to see [livejournal.com profile] doggiesushi this year! Yay!

5. Went to Disney with my parents, which was, on the whole, a good time. It's a bit of a learning curve, because there is so much there that they didn't have when I was a kid, and Z's interests are different from mine or Scott's, but we had a lot of fun. And people at EPCOT loved my "Keep Calm and Don't Blink" shirt--one girl asked if we could take a picture together; it was hilarious.

6. Got an iPhone, which ... well, the stuff it does well it does very, very well, and that's enough to make up for the stuff the Droid did better.

7. Holy cats, I'm really digging Glee this season. And the Doctor Who Christmas special. And the second season on Sherlock was made of cool. And, oh my god, The Avengers!!! Plus, did I start reading the Toby Daye books in 2012? Let's say I did, because they are really, really good and you should read them.

8. Spotify and I have begun a lovely relationship. Tumblr ... well, I have no bloody clue what the hell I'm doing with it, but my dashboard gave me a lot of stuff to think about this year, a lot of it interesting, and not all of it Glee or Who related. (In that regard it reminds me of when I first got on LJ, lo these many moons ago.) I wonder if there's an official Sherlock Tumblr?

9. Oh yeah, my mom got an iPhone, as well, and has entered into the exciting world of texting. This may be a blessing and a curse.

10. The Zweeble went to his first-ever play, starring the lovely and talented [livejournal.com profile] jkason!

11. 21 years of the Scott and Laura Saga. Our relationship is now old enough to drink.

12. Four more short stories, and some odd stuff that might lead somewhere or might not, but what the hell, it's there.

13. My boys were, on the whole and as always, awesome and hilarious. As are my friends.

The Not-So-Hurrah

1. Well, my uncle died. It was not entirely surprising, considering his alcoholism, but it was a really fast decline before it happened and that sort of shocked me, and death is always a shock, whether or not you figured it was going to happen soon.

2. I got hit by a freaking truck! And I still can't quite decide if I like my new car or not.

3. You know, every year I wish I had my life more together than I do. Maybe this year I'll say to hell with that.

Looking Ahead

I have no idea. Seriously. It's going to be an interesting ride, though, because Scott graduates in May and then it's job hunting and paying back student loans. My mother-in-law retires this year, I think, so maybe we'll see the in-laws at some point. I want to see if we can go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween this year.

I have one more Corwyn story to write, and then I'm gonna embark on another novel.

So last year, I wrote:

I wish for us all some unexpected, but very welcome, stories; the chance to see old friends and meet new ones; good music, books, and TV; funny stories about small kids and/or pets; the pulling off of something cool; and the continuation of something wonderful and true.

I think I managed all that. I'll leave it for this year, too, I think. Happy New Year, y'all.
seldnei: (Default)
TV

So I started this TV season the same way I do every season: noting when shows that sound cool, and shows I already watch, start. The past two years I've had the DVR and can set it up to tape the new shows--woohoo!--and watch later. This year there were quite a few.

Ringer: Okay, taped three episodes, never got the motivation to watch them, deleted them and the timer. I dunno, it sounded okay, I like Sarah Michelle Gellar, but ... meh. If I hear good things, I'll watch the DVDs.

Person of Interest: Just watched episode 1 Saturday night, the episode 2 on Sunday. I'm mostly interested in Michael Emerson's character, though Jim Caviezal is some serious eye candy and the thing with the dump truck was awesome. He's like a mix of Clint Eastwood doing Dirty Harry and Henry Winkler being Henry Winkler.

Anyway, episode 2 started delving into the backstory for Finch (Emerson's character), and if they keep doing things like that ... well, we may keep watching. Neither Scott nor I are very into procedurals (unless we get sucked into the crystal meth that is a Law & Order marathon ... shudder), so it better get weird and twisty pretty quick. (I also think it would be awesome if the person Finch lost was the partner guy we saw in episode 2, and if that guy was, in fact, his partner ... but I doubt they'll go there.)

Glee: Well, much like last season, I am being horribly sporadic. Ignored the premiere, watched the musical numbers for ep 2, and watched all of ep 3. Holy cats, Mercedes as Effie. That whole sequence was freaking spectacular. And go, Mike. Though I didn't think "Cool" popped quite enough, it was still good.

And good grief, Will Schuster is one of the worst teachers ever. Also, was I the only one who wanted to tell him it wasn't his damn place to fix Emma?

American Horror Story and Bedlam: Okay, only watched the pilots for these so far. AHS isn't working for either of us. I think it probably will work for people with a different kind of horror story taste, though. Bedlam is probably more to my taste, but it wasn't really scary at all. I'll watch it again, though.

Scott and I are both getting into Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and, of all things, Top Gear. Well, maybe I shouldn't be surprised at that--I got mildly addicted to "Car Talk" on NPR and managed to mildly addict Scott, so there is a precedent here.

Scott's still giving Terra Nova a shot, but I'm pretty well done with it.

Books

Reading Ready Player One. Having massive flashbacks to my adolescence. Also irritating my husband because I checked it out of the library and he wants to read it, so he was hoping I'd buy it with my credit card points ... except he didn't tell me that, so I bought Z and myself some books instead. The guilt tripping has commenced.

Podcasts

That's right, podcasts. I am dipping my toe in. I am entering the first decade of the 21st century just in time for the 2nd. Go me.

I like NPR, but I rarely tune in at the right times to hear the stuff I want. And sometimes I just want something besides music--like when I'm washing dishes or coming home from work. (I have a tendency to run my day back over and over, which makes it harder to wind down, and I can tune music out too easily. I'm hoping Kevin Smith being vulgar and hilarious will keep me from doing that.)

So I got a Kevin Smith podcast, some stuff off NPR, and a couple of HowStuffWorks podcasts about little-known history. We shall see.

Miscellany

Reddit is swallowing my husband's soul. The boy has started Nintendogs. The Amanda Palmer cover of "Polly" is awesome. Strange Horizons made their funding goal (yay!).

I think that's it for now. Do I read, or watch more TV?

movies!

Aug. 2nd, 2011 09:56 am
seldnei: (Default)
Today the husband is off to the school to see about possibly testing out of gen ed courses and transferring some credits. I am off to the doctor's to have my yearly exam and talk about various things that will prevent a Zweeble 2.0. I love the kid, but he's more than enough.

Our weekend was really nice--we hung out with [livejournal.com profile] jkason and David, and went to Captain America, made pizza, watched Doctor Who, and acted like geeky grownups.

Captain America was a nice, solid comic book movie. I liked Chris Evans, and I was glad they had Steve Rogers as a scrawny guy for about half of the movie--he's still scrawny in his brain, even when he's Cap, and if you don't make the audience feel that, too, I don't think you can make a good movie about Captain America.

I am really looking forward to The Avengers, which I would not have predicted even six months ago.

In the previews we had: 3 trailers involving men jumping super-crazy high (4 of you count Apollo 18 which is set on the moon, but does not involve the same heights of jumping), 2 trailers with men sticking to the sides of glossy, reflective skyscrapers, and 2 trailers with the same line: "We all have secrets." I believe Hollywood may be in a bit of a rut.

Also, while I think Andrew Garfield looks like Peter Parker* (especially since Tobey Maguire's getting a bit long in the tooth for the part), I don't think we really need a new Spider-Man franchise yet. Just saying.

Okay, time to get shoes on and track down some socks.

*Maybe more Ultimate Universe Peter Parker, but whatever. Movie Nick Fury is Ultimate Universe Nick Fury, too.
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Getting stuff done is really nice. For the first time in about two weeks I feel like I've got things together.

One thing I found abut Google Docs today: I can do most of the same stuff in Word, but it's easier in Google.

Last night, we watched Pirate Radio, which was hilarious. Then we watched Eddie Izzard, and that was hilarious, too, but a bit more uneven.

Z. is with his grandparents, seeing Cars 2, so I have a little while before he gets home. I need to clean his room, but I don't want to do it alone! However, once I get that done, I plan to read the rest of the day.
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1. Took a reluctant Zweeble to summer camp/school today. Met his new teacher. Got so involved in the transfer of sunblock, bug spray, and info on the pool schedule that I didn't say goodbye to the kid. D'oh! Luckily, Scott and I were tag-teaming it. As we left, Scott asked if I'd recognized any of the kids in the room, because he hadn't. Me, neither. Ack. A bit of mild, oh, man, I hope he has a good day today ensued as we headed back to the car. This was compounded by the fact that this week is Baseball Week, and today was Bring Baseball Items to School ... and the only baseball item we had was a padded bat.

Um. Well, we made him promise not to hit anyone with it.

2. Came home. Wrote some e-mail, looked at some stuff I needed to look at, did a bit of class prep, then got down to writing. Ah, there's nothing like the feeling you get when you realize you made a wrong turn two days ago and need to throw out 6-8 pages of story. On the other hand, I got notes for what should happen, and some dialogue figured out.

3. Went to pick up the kid. Since it's summer, we go into the room to get him. Z was super excited to see us, and the teacher assured us he had a great day. He colored a baseball player for us. I recognized some of the kids (whew!) and the teacher said Z. was fine once he saw some of his old classmates. Somehow I managed to take home some other kid's artwork, so I'll return that Weds.

4. Went to lunch. Uneventful.

5. Went to the post office to pick up a package. Used Scott's phone to figure out where we were going, discovered that this post office was not the main one. Used Google maps for directions, and they were super convoluted, but gave me enough info so I knew where we were going. Decided to test out the Baby Garmin program on the Droid. Baby Garmin was not pleased that we had decided not to follow her convoluted route.

Our route was drive to Street X, follow it to Street Y, turn, there we are! Hers involved backtracking, cross-country skiing, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. (Okay, just backtracking.) Except that, just as we got to Street X, we were detoured and wound up having to take Baby Garmin's route.

She tried not to gloat, but you know ... (and the cross-country skiing was rather nice, actually. The Valley of the Shadow of Death was about what you'd expect this time of year, though: all flies and Beelzebub and Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here, blah blah blah.)

(Actually, the program was pretty sweet, and I will probably use the version on my phone in future.)

6. Hit a comic store to kill time. Bought Magic cards, a Darkwing Duck comic, and a Green Lantern pin that will probably end up being mine.

7. Went to the doctor's office for Z's ear re-check. Z cracked up the kids in the waiting room when he declared the bathroom "STINK-y!" Ears are clear! Boy looks great! He also doesn't meet the parameters for tubes, which was apparently a concern of Scott's.

8. Came home. Read some Captain Underpants. Gagged. The Bionic Booger Boy is possibly the grossest thing I have ever read about, and I am a Stephen King fan. I have also read Clive Barker's Books of Blood, and Clive has nothing on Dav Pilkey.

9. The less said about post-naptime the better, but my husband is a very good dad.

10. Went outside to play. In my summertime routine of checking for wasps on the playset, I found what I thought was a brown widow's nest in a 1-2 inch crevice between the deck part of the set and the rock wall. I told Z. to stand back, got a sturdy stick, and went to squish the spider.

I do try to leave most spiders alone. I like a lot of the ones we have down here--we have really pretty spiders in Florida. But I do not truck with widows. Brown widows' venom can cause nerve damage, from what I have read, and we get them a lot. They're very timid, and tend to run rather than defend themselves, but I don't take chances with the kid and his tendency to focus on, say, his stick collection and not notice anything crawling on him, under him, or what have you. Happily, brown widows have a distinctive egg sac, so they tend to be easy to find.

So I poke at the nest with my handy stick ... and the spider attacks the stick. What the? I pull the stick back a little, and the spider hangs on. This dislodges the spider and brings it into better view: shiny black body, bright red hourglass ... Holy cats and kittens, black widow!

A big one, too, compared to the black widows we've had before. But not tarantula-sized or anything. Still, this angle is not a good one, and the spider is still pissed at the stick and hasn't noticed me, so I tell Z. to run and tell Dad that I need spider spray, if we have any. He takes off, and he and Dad report back that we do not, in fact, have toxic chemicals for this particular bug (probably better that way, anyway), so ... I take a breath, change my grip, and squish the spider like I'm Stuttering Bill Denbrough in It (except I used a stick, and the spider was a lot smaller, and there wasn't some giant rain storm that took out half of the town, and, okay, not actually that similar at all. Whatever, I felt triumphant)!

Plus, my son was super impressed with me.

Then I had to squish the egg sacs (like Ben Hanscomb! Okay, not at all like that) while Scott crawled all around and under the play set looking for further spider nests. We found nothing.

When we came in, my son had to call his arachnophobic grandmother and tell her about it. "Now, Grammie, Mom killed a black widow. Don't. Freak. Out."




And now my son and husband are watching Annoying Orange. Tomorrow is their movie outing. I sit here, typing away, Killer of Spiders, alone as all mercenary stick-slingers are in the end. It's a lonely life, riding from town to town with my trusty stick, helping the poor and the hopeless defend against small, venomous arachnids. But I do it. Because it needs doing. Because I am the lone force for ...

... okay, I can't keep that up. I'm signing off before I get any sillier. Night, y'all.
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Lots of possible stuff going on right now, and none of it is anything I feel comfortable writing about on the internet. However, I will say that none of it is bad, per se. Aside from my usual feeling that change is always bad (thank you, Peter Straub's Ghost Story), which is not even remotely true. Change is just change (or, you know, possibly God; thank you, Octavia Butler's Earthseed books).

So what else is going on? Not a lot. I'm half-planning a little container vegetable garden for the concrete pad outside the back door (or maybe on the front porch?) if we can decide on what vegetables we want to grow. I'd like to do it. I'm definitely making a birdbath tonight out of a flower pot and a plastic container. It's really dry right now, and the birds could use another water source. Probably the possums could, too. And we all like seeing the birds.

I also need to give my wedding-ninja dress a wash and a press before putting it and my shoes on and figuring out what sort of accessories I need.

My Unread Stack of Shame is down to one book; two if I count a book I was loaned but don't really care if I read or not.

Saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 last night, and Scott had the same issues with the movie as I had with the book. are there any spoilers left, though? ) Though I realized last night, as I thought about how Scott has been very sad ever since the 2nd movie that the flying car doesn't return, that the best ending ever for this series would have been Harry running over Voldemort in the flying car.

I'm still watching Farscape. Chiana has finally arrived.

And that is my life, such as it is, and elided.

Thor!

May. 30th, 2011 10:22 am
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My mother handed us cash and told us to go to the movies, so we did. Flipped a coin between Pirates and Thor, and went to Thor.

I didn't expect to really care--I'm not a Marvel girl, and when I am, I like Spider-Man. But, you know, Kenneth Branagh. Dude.

In the end, I really liked it a lot. I though Chris Helmsworth was surprisingly charismatic as Thor--I could totally buy that he charmed the heck out of Scientist Natalie Portman (I loved when he kissed her hand and she laughed like a goof).

I also liked Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and I left the theater wishing we'd seen more of his character arc, too. But then I was thinking some more about it, and I've seen the actors and Branagh discussing the movie in terms of it being about fathers and sons. I think in that context, both Loki and Thor's character arcs work; the sort of thing I wanted to see would have been more appropriate in a movie about the relationships between brothers.

(And, seriously, I get a huge kick out of the fact that I'm discussing a comic book movie in this way.)

I liked the women. I liked that Natalie Portman was a terrible driver but not a neurotic mess of a girl desperate to find a man to fix her life. I also liked that she was smart enough to call someone when she thought the government might make her vanish. :) I also liked Sif--I felt that she was equal to the other men in that little group, and probably a little smarter. The high heels made me sad, though.

Idris Elba didn't have quite enough to do, but he was really good at what he did.

And it was big, comic-book fun. Hawkeye! ("You need to give the order soon, because I'm starting to root for him.") "Is that one of Stark's?" "I dunno, that guy never tells me anything." Bruce Banner reference! Stan Lee cameo!

Marvel makes such good comics movies.

ETA: I got off-track due to a rampaging kid, but my one complaint about the movie was that it was a bit too time-compressed. I think the whole thing would have been better happening over the course of two weeks or so, rather than in, apparently, One Epic Weekend.
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I've been fighting with allergy crud since about Wednesday, and last night it finally eased off. It's one of those allergy attacks that lasts for days and feels like a head cold, but isn't (according to the doctor), so, you know, fun beyond imagining.

I took Scott and the Zweeb to the beach on Friday, and wound up spending a good amount of time sitting on the shore, wilted. Still, there are worse places to wilt than the beach. It's sting ray season again, and this time the husband got to be in the midst of it--we saw four rays near the shore at once; pretty cool. I also got to show the Zweeble coquinas digging into the sand, which was nice. I'm going to miss Big Adventure Fridays.

We spent the weekend at my parents', which was nice. I got to relax and read and finally see How to Train Your Dragon all the way through. I liked it a lot; I really liked how it didn't shoehorn in a bunch of pop culture references to make the movie cooler or whatever. The younger characters' dialogue was more modern-sounding, but they were talking about things that were appropriate to their world--so I liked it. slight spoiler )

(Then we watched Shark Tale, which was pretty much the opposite of Dragon, and wasn't as good.)

We also had a play date with a little girl my mother babysits; she's a cute kid, almost 2. Z. was very good with her; he's getting so much better at sharing and hanging around smaller kids. He asked why her mom didn't come with her, so I told him we were watching her while her mom got some grown-up stuff done. Z's eyes lit up and he said, "We're babysitting?!" He was all over that idea, man.

Now it's back to reality. :) This week we have Z's annual checkup, and I have a bunch of phone calls to make, and the usual chores and writing. I'm aiming this week to get myself organized. I have been off-schedule for too long; I need routine. :)
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That would be the theme of my life right now. At least, it keeps running through my head at regular intervals.

Today was a day of ... lord, I dunno. General moodiness and stress. Eah. So I packed it all in, came home, sent the kid off with his grandmother, took a bike ride, and then Scott and I watched Hot Tub Time Machine.*

It's a mental health night.

Hot Tub Time Machine was funnier than I expected, and I enjoyed it. It was really stupid. Or, well, it was a stupid 80s comedy made by people who grew up watching (and/or acting in) stupid 80s comedies. I dunno--I liked it. Particularly the Fishbone T-shirt.

We also have Iron Man 2 to watch, because I feel like gorging on movies tonight. Tomorrow is the premiere of Doctor Who, so you know I won't be watching movies.

And in keeping with my Positive Thoughts this evening, Tiffany--the lovely bride-to-be of my best friend [livejournal.com profile] doggiesushi--sent out links to the dress options we PartyNinjas (aka their attendants) have to choose from. So many choices! I am leaning toward this one, though I also like this. The second one is already in the right fabric, so you have to imagine Dress 1 with dots.

I'm actually really excited to play dress-up and go all 40s/50s glam.

And I am still thrilled and excited that "Items" is up at Strange Horizons, if you haven't read it yet ...

All right. Tony Stark, here I come.

*Snakes On a Plane, Hot Tub Time Machine ... all I need now is to watch Hobo With a Shotgun to complete my "There's Your Plot, Right In the Title" set.
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All right, so Skynet is self-aware and we have until tomorrow to prep for the nuking of humanity by our new computer overlords ... well, before that happens, remember to go and read my story!

Seriously, you don't want to have regrets when you're training to take out Terminators and no one's allowed to use a computer anymore.
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Okay, so thanks to that crazy chick, her Austrian bodyguard, and her 10-year-old kid, the first one of these was averted, but this time it's totally gonna happen, man!

Luckily, I have the killer-robots-from-the-future contingency plan (homemade C4, thank you John Conner, a giant dog, lots of leather, and clearly the Zweeble is, if not humanity's savior, then one of the inner circle), so see y'all on the other side of Judgment Day!
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Day 25 - Someone who fascinates you and why

I'm sort of half-fascinated by Charlie Sheen right now, for no good reason. Me and most of America, right?

In a much healthier way, I am fascinated with Amanda Palmer; I like reading her blog because she talks about Art and making music, and creativity, and crazy people who are apparently too cool to applaud Duran Duran, and her own insecurities/failings/issues, and she pokes fun at her husband (who is one of my favorite authors), and she seems really cool. (And in a total it's-none-of-my-business-at-all-and-I'm-totally-cool-with-never-finding-out-but-I-still-wonder way, I am curious as to whether or not, and if so, how, she and Neil Gaiman plan to consolidate households.)

I get fascinated by artists and writers and musicians in a way I don't tend to get with actors--for the most part, I don't want to know things who David Tennant's S.O. is (though I do know that, anyway) or what ice cream Lauren Graham likes to eat--I don't want to know about their personal lives all that much if I really enjoy their work, because I don't want that to bleed into the performance. But, maybe since their work isn't directly connected to their faces, that doesn't happen with other types of artists.

Oh, and I tend to find my kid pretty fascinating, overall. Like that wasn't readily apparent. :)


Day 26 - What kind of person attracts you

Er ... hm. Well, let me assess my friends and exes, and my husband.

(thinks)

Well, clearly I like smart people. And smart-assed people. I am attracted to creativity and geekiness. I really, really, really like funny people. (My first sentence to [livejournal.com profile] doggiesushi, back when we were ten, was, "You made me laugh." I basically figured we should be friends because he was funny.

I like people who are good at what they do--competence is actually very attractive. I also like people who may not be good at something, but who aren't afraid to try and possibly fail. I like enthusiasm--passion is a good thing. Geek out, it's awesome!

I like it when people can talk, and listen, and have good conversations, and I love people who think around corners or come up with new and interesting ideas. I am also inordinately find of people who read.

winding down )
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Day 22 - How have you changed in the past two years?

Er. Well, I'm two years older ... ? And now I'm the mother of a 4 year old (or will be, in 18 more days).

I don't think I've actually changed that much since 2009. Aside from being better able to handle vomit and other assorted bodily fluids (2009 was the Plague Year around here--we had everything from swine flu to salmonella), I'm pretty much the same geeky, goofy person I was then. I was going to say "less stressed," but let's amend that to "differently stressed."

My hair is longer. And blonde. I am 20 lbs lighter. The Vitamin D seems to have had the bonus effect of helping my skin, so I'm less broken out.

Now, had you asked me how I've changed in the past seven years, well, then we'd have an entry. :)

Day 23 - Give pictures of five guys who are famous who you find attractive

Okay, you know what? I am officially too damn old to do this one. Or that's my excuse, anyway. But I will do an extra day to make up ...

Day 24 - Your favorite movie and what it's about

I'm trying to decide, here. Singin' In the Rain or The African Queen?

All right, let's do The African Queen. Humphrey Bogart plays Charlie Allnut, the captain of a small steamboat in Africa at the beginning of WWI. Katharine Hepburn is Rose Sayer, the spinster sister of a missionary; Charlie delivers supplies to them. Germany occupies this part of Africa, and Rose's brother dies after being beaten by the Germans.

Basically, Rose convinces Charlie to take his boat (The African Queen) up the river and to the lake where the Germans have a gunboat that's blocking the British from making any headway into Africa. They'll rig the Queen with torpedos and blow the German boat up. Charlie thinks this is suicide--the river has rapids, wild animals, and a German fort to contend with--but agrees because he figures after the first obstacle, Rose will fold. Clearly Charlie has never seen a Katharine Hepburn movie.

Most of the film is set on the river, as Charlie and Rose fall in love and make their way to the lake and the German gunboat. Both of these characters are middle-aged, both of them are eccentric, and both of these actors are awesome and not afraid to look ridiculous. It's a deeply flawed film (the ending was, according to the story I heard, completely depressing and rewritten; it is not entirely believable in its final form), but I honestly do not care--it's fun and I love those two characters. Watching it makes me happy.

Plus, it has one of my favorite movie lines: "Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put on this earth to rise above."

next up! )
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Jason and David took us to see Sucker Punch as my birthday present (well, and they also got me the new Pokemon game) today ...

... Okay, this movie is in the same eye-candy, wacky plot that may or may not hold together but who cares it's cracktastic genre as Repo! The Genetic Opera, 300, and Sin City. In fact, take those movies, add a tiny dash of Girl, Interrupted as directed by Tim Burton, swirl in about half a cup of Moulin Rouge and some steampunk, then add a tablespoon of Lord of the Rings, and you have now created Sucker Punch.

It was fun. But kind of not. But then, very much so. I would not call it good, exactly; it was highly entertaining and really pretty to look at. I wish the dialogue had been better, but otherwise I have no issues. I even enjoyed the plot holes.

Also, at my mother's, I saw just enough of How to Train Your Dragon that I want to watch the whole thing now. I asked the Zweeble how it ended, and he gave me a pretty decent run-down, but I still want to see it.
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Okay, so one of my professors in grad school was Luis Alberto Urrea. I have mentioned this before, I think. I got a lot out of his workshops (even the poetry one I did only as a desperate independent study because I was one 500-level class short of my degree and expected very little from), and found one of my writerly obsessions thanks to a writing assignment he gave us.

Anyway, that's one long way of saying (and, possibly, justifying) that when I saw this, I immediately thought, I am one degree of separation from Neil Gaiman! (Which means I'm two degrees of separation from Robin McKinley.)
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On vacation. Have hit the hermit mode of vacation. (I am an only child with a relatively small family, so the enormity of the family I have married into sometimes overwhelms me and I need to be Alone. I'm not actually physically alone at the moment, but the younger generation of men is downstairs playing Magic and calling each other various forms of "douchebag," and I have the parents-in-law mesmerized by Hard Day's Night on VH1 Classic, so it all amounts to the same thing.)

Today I bought a mockingjay keychain at Borders. And if you don't know what that is, well, read The Hunger Games. And then you will recognize the ultra-coolness that is my keys. Or will be, once I have them on the thing.

We also saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which I freaking adored and don't want to hear a bad thing about because I liked it just that much, it made me happy, so keep yer criticisms to yourself, dammit. I didn't even get annoyed at Michael Cera at all, and I always tend to start out liking him and wanting to smack him and his cute elliptical line-readings around a little to get them to man up by the end of the movie.

Kieran Culkin for the win, though. Just sayin'. If Robert Downey, Jr. implodes again, just hire Kieran Culkin instead.

I bought volume one of the graphic novel, and I don't think this is the start of an obsessive reading jag like seeing and then getting volume one of Sin City was, though the two experiences have certain similarities. But I think the art may be too cute for me.

And this vacation has been movie-heavy, as we've seen the new Clash of the Titans (yawn) and The Hangover. The Hangover was not as godawful guy-movie as I expected, but was also not as funny as the hype would have had me believe. That said, I did enjoy a lot of it. I did not see the trunk thing coming.

But. Not as make-me-cry funny as 40 Year Old Virgin.

Now I just have to see if my father will take me to see Inception, as my husband swears to god he will not see this movie. Oh, here, this was our conversation:

L: I want to see Inception.

S: Why?

L: It looks really cool--you love super-visual movies, why wouldn't you want to see it?

S: It's the guy who made Memento! I hated Memento! I swore never to see another movie that guy makes, ever!

L: The guy who made Memento also made Insomnia, Batman Begins, and Dark Knight.

S: ...

L: In fact, so far he's only made one movie that we haven't seen.

S: (muttered swearing) I am still not going to see Inception.

So, yeah. Have to talk Dad into it. I owe him a movie for mowing my lawn.

All right. I think I'm going to go do some more of my Doctor Who meme, now.
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The other night, I caught the last half of a documentary about Phantom of the Opera, so I DVRed it and watched the whole thing yesterday.

First off, it was really interesting to see how it evolved and was put together, and I really enjoyed the footage from the rehearsals with Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. And the stories about the remote-controlled gondola and how on one occasion Michael Crawford had to pull this two-ton boat onto its spot after they got off it, and then had to sing "Music of the Night" was pretty hilarious.

Anyway, I realized as I watched it that I haven;t listened to that soundtrack in probably fifteen years. I did see the movie version, but those weren't the same actors. (I remember seeing the movie and being highly amused at the fact that I knew all the lyrics, still.) I have the CDs, but I don't have the soundtrack on the iPod. So I dug around and found them at the bottom of the CD Qbit, and today when I went to Target for taco chips I played it.

Now, I was obsessed with this musical in high school. Junior and senior year, which was also when it was out originally on Broadway. I had the soundtrack on tape, and wore it out, read the original book (dear god), had a porcelain Phantom mask on the wall, had the big glossy book (I still have it, actually, and there's something else I haven't actually looked at in fifteen or twenty years), and on my senior trip to France, I and my similarly-obsessed best girlfriend ditched our lazy-ass, not-obsessed group of friends and went to the Paris Opera house.

I have never seen the show on stage, but this was an enormous part of my psyche when I was 17/18 years old. I wanted to be Christine, obviously--the supremely talented girl that everyone underestimates until the dark genius recognizes her and gives her the right music to sing, and then the hot, rich guy falls for her, too, and ... yeah.*

So today I put the CDs in, and listen, and have these thoughts:

1. Holy crap, I really still do remember every damned thing on this soundtrack. Dialogue, inflections, lyrics, all of it.

2. Sir Andrew, step away from the synthesizer. Seriously. I know, I know, the Phantom plays an organ. Whatever. Find another instrument. We're suspending our disbelief in many areas, we can get around the lack of an organ.

3. Oh my god, Christine, could you be any more of a girl? I seriously want to rewrite this musical so that Christine is poor, talented, and determined to be an opera star--and instead of this whole thing where he's been teaching her to sing and after her debut he takes her down to the basement lake, he actually takes her down there before all of this and tells her he wants to train her. She's skeptical, and demands he take the mask off before she agrees to anything, then yanks it off when he refuses. He freaks, but she just looks him over, says she understands why he needs her to sing his music now, hands him back the mask and agrees. Then they're partners, and she sort of likes Raul--but when he starts getting clingy and wanting to protect her from the Phantom, she gets all "where the hell were you before I was a giant success?"

And I can't decide if I want to have a clingy, insecure Phantom, and then have Christine ditch both the guys at the end of the show, or if I want them to have a kind of Henry Higgins/Eliza Doolittle thing going on, and once he's found out they leave Paris and go off to Venice or somewhere and start over.



*And this is why I'm not that worried about the girls who like Twilight.
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Okay, I can't decide if the episode of "What's New Scooby Doo" that the Zweeble is watching is an homage or a rip-off of Westworld (it even had a Yul Brynner cowboy robot).

This has also led me to wonder if I am, in fact, the only person I know besides my father who would see this cartoon and make the Westworld connection, and if this may be because I'm the only person my age (or thereabouts) I know who has seen that movie.

So, has anyone else ever seen or heard of Westworld?

(Oh, and Kasey Kasem still does Shaggy's voice. These are the oldest teenagers ever.)
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The problem with boredom is how it builds on itself. I mean, I could get ahead on the work front, but I just don't want to do any more of it ... but there's nothing else I really want to do, either. Reading? Nah. Internet? Nah. Video games? Nah. TV? Nah.

Bleah.

In other news, I read Catching Fire last week, and this is probably why I haven't been wanting to read lately, because it was a very good read and nothing else is quite going to measure up. This book, and the one before it, The Hunger Games, hit pretty much every story kink I have: post-apocalyptic setting, romance angst, chicks doing stuff and doing it well without being perfect this may get spoilery ) ... and I got caught up into the pace and the world-building and the characters this IS spoilery ). ETA: spoilers in the comments, if you're concerned.

And we streamed Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist last night from NetFlix, and I liked that, too. It's cute. Though Nick could have been ... I dunno, more. Norah seemed pretty fleshed out, but Nick, while sweet and all, was not so much. This might be Michael Cera, I have no idea. I did enjoy how the guy had the gay friends, as opposed to the girl. And good grief, does every teenage girl have a friend like Caroline? Because I sure did, and, as Scott said, I'd have stuck her gum on her forehead and let her sleep like that. Not in her hair, though, because I loved her. :) Really, I loved the supporting cast a lot. They all seemed to take the goofy-friends-and-exes thing and make it better than the usual.

Oh, and the 2008 Doctor Who Xmas special is out on DVD. Want. Want. Tiffany, when you get to Seasons 2 and 4, let me know because there are some extras you'll want to see (they're not on the extras disk, though).

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Laura E. Price

September 2017

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